I know, I know—that wall of succulents you saw in the latest edition of Architectural Digest is to die for. They’re all the rage for wedding florals these days, too. (Here’s how to make your own eco-friendly wedding favors.) But somehow, despite your best efforts, your jade is dropping leaves and that sedum you’ve been lovingly watering is wizened and wrinkled.
Is that perfect hen-and-chicks, all cute and rotund, really so much to ask for? The answer, as with most plant-related questions, is ‘it depends.’
The oft-spouted proclamation that succulents are easy to grow is, in fact, fiction. Sure, it can be easy, but it requires a bit of a mental adjustment. Get into the desert mindset—imagine unrelenting sun, monsoon-like down pours, and the boomerang temperature changes that characterize the desert’s days—and you might have a little more luck.
Here, 5 of the most common mistakes succulent newbies are making, and how to get those beauties to thrive.
(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)